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Twenty-eight year old Argentine international Santiago Fernández has taken the opportunity presented to him of a return to France with both hands. The Pumas flyhalf or inside centre has been the clubs first choice pivot, starting ahead of New Zealander Stephen Brett. This past weekend Fernández set up a try for winger Marvin O´Connor.
Capped thirty-two times by Argentina Fernández is one of the most senior backs in the team. Following the retirement of Felipe Contepomi and the return of Juan Martín Hernández to fullback Fernández is a strong chance of starting for Argentina in 2014 and at next years Rugby World Cup.
Fernández started at both fly half and inside centre at Rugby World Cup 2011. With him being off contract from Bayonne at the end of next month he will be free to represent Argentina in June. Argentina is to face Ireland and Scotland with tests taking place in Resistencia, Tucumán and Córdoba. Fernández is a strong contender to be not only the starting inside centre but to also be considered for the captaincy.
Fernández´s play against Grenoble on Saturday was a crucial part of his club securing two vital competition points. He set up winger Marvin O´Connor for a try after he kicked through for the uncaped former French under 20 representative to score. The try was converted by Argentina´s Martín Bustos Moyano.
Fernández is contracted to Bayonne this season as a medical joker. He signed in October after having previously played for Montpellier and helping the team reach the final. He was the club´s first choice inside centre but for Bayonne has been used as the starting fly half.
Bayonne is in a three way tie together with Oyonnax and Perpignan for eleventh position. With all three having fifty competition points one of them will be joining Biarritz in the second division next season. Bayonne will face current champions Castres at home in a final round match on Saturday May 3. Oyonnax will face Brive away while Perpignan face a trip to Clermont.